I learned a couple of weeks ago that my third year adviser in high school passed away. He succumbed to cardiac arrest apparently after giving a talk at school. Larry Mamorno was a very memorable figure during my teen age years. I remember him as the "Lito Lapid" look-alike teacher in high school who could get along well with most of us including some of whom I though were the more "difficult" students in our school. We learned later that he was a brother with the Order Friars Minor, Capuchins, later deciding that priesthood was not his calling. Instead, he entered another vocation - teaching. His first stint was at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong where he also stayed and served as a brother with the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi.
I will always remember him for our "talk" one time my grades dipped and he told me he was concerned about the reasons for the dip. I don't remember exactly what I told him my reasons were. It's something about being lazy or uninspired at the time. I think I was experiencing a rut and there were no incentives for me to perform well in my classes, content with just getting by with my quizzes and other school work. I didn't have any family problems so it's not a problem at home but just a lack of motivation for myself. I don't really remember him suggesting anything except offering to talk it over whenever I felt like it. He probably told me to read more and find it in myself to convince myself to do better in class. This was likely his way of encouraging me as there seemed to be no plausible reason at all why I wasn't doing well in class.
I do remember that during the end of our third year class recollection, he spoke to my father about my performance in class. Tatay talked to me afterwards to ask me if anything was bothering me and we had a good talk about my "lethargic" school work. I don't know how I did it but I managed to get through that "difficult" moment and I ended up with good grades for the rest of my third year. The momentum was carried into my graduating year in high school where I think I surprised a lot of people by doing quite well in my science and math subjects. During the concluding part of our class retreat, Mr. Mamorno, who was adviser of another 4th year class, approached my father again and they had what I thought was a nice chat (both of them smiling as they apparently were talking about me and other students). Frankly, I believe that Mr. Mamorno has influenced my life through that on-on-one talk and I am thankful to him just for being there during that moment.
Rest in peace Mr. Mamorno. You have done great in this life and will be remembered by people whose lives you've touched as their teacher/adviser.